Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Exton and Warnford
After lunch with friends in nearby Droxford, a quick study of the map suggested that Exton would be a good point of departure for a circular walk. Exton itself turned out to be a delightful village with some lovely half-timbered cottages and a 13th century church.
We followed the South Downs way north-west across fields and climbed up to skirt beacon hill (201m).
We then swung round to the east onto, confusingly, the South Downs Way bridleway and walked across Wheely Down. Reaching Warnford after an hour and a half we decided time and energy did not permit a similar circuit to the other side of the main road and so walked back to Exton along it. This of course was a bit grim, but we did at least make a small detour to get a glimpse of the river Meon, the main part of whose valley lies below Droxford.
About five miles in all.
Rating: four stars (ignoring the final leg along the road).
Map: Explorer 119 (Meon Valley, Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham).
Strong reinforcement for our policy of always trying to fit in a walk whenever we are away from home.
Starting to feel quite confident about spotting a route from looking at the map - and then following it on the ground. Although in truth this could hardly have been easier.
The key development area now is accurately assessing the time required and distance to be traveled.
The watercress beds at Warnford were a bit of a novelty and we enjoyed seeing a grey heron land there.